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How Long is Probate in Palm Beach County?

May 20, 2022 Probate

Probate in Palm Beach County can vary based on the circumstances, but generally, formal administration can take 12 to 15 months to complete. Summary administration can take less than a month to complete. However, the probate process can take longer if disputes or other difficulties arise. When working with a Florida and Palm Beach County probate attorney at Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun we can help estimate the length of the probate period you may be facing based on the unique circumstances of your situation to properly set expectations for the fiduciaries and beneficiaries of the estate.

Formal Administration Probate Timeline in Palm Beach County

Formal administration is the process of administering an estate that does not qualify for summary administration. It includes the process of appointing a personal representative, or executor, admitting a will (if the decedent had a will), publishing notice to creditors, which is a 90-day period, payment of valid creditor’s claims, and other various detailed requirements. The “creditor’s period” is the time that any claims upon the estate for debts can be made. 

Summary Administration Probate Timeline in Palm Beach County

Summary administration is usually reserved for small estates where the value of the entire estate subject to administration is less than or equal to $75,000 with no known creditors. Summary administration can sometimes take less than a month or two when the circumstances allow. You most often need all of the beneficiaries to consent to the petition, an original death certificate, and a copy of the paid funeral bill for the decedent. Once all necessary consents are obtained, the summary petition is submitted to the court. The order of summary administration generally takes a few weeks to receive back from the Court but may depend on other considerations such as whether the summary administration involves homestead.

Important Probate Deadlines for Palm Beach County

Florida law specifies deadlines and timelines for filing probate documents. These laws can be found in the Florida Statutes Chapters 732 and 733, and various Florida Probate Rules. Some important probate deadlines we would like to highlight include the following:

Probate Deadlines for Surviving Spouses in Palm Beach County

  • Recording of Tenant in Common Election: Must be recorded six months from death.
  • Filing Petition for Exempt Property: Four months from service of Notice of Administration or 40 days after the date of the termination of any proceeding involving a will contest or will construction.
  • Filing Election for Elective Share: Earlier of six months from service of Notice of Administration or two years from decedent’s death if no notice is provided.
  • Service of Elective Estate Inventory and Petition to Determine Amount: Within 60 days after entry of the order determining entitlement.
  • Filing for Family Allowance: Prior to the conclusion of the estate administration.
  • Filing Election for Community Property: Within three months of service of Notice of Administration on surviving spouse, or within the time period provided for filing creditor claims.

Probate Deadlines for Creditors in Palm Beach County

  • Filing a Creditor Claim: The later of three months after the first publication of Notice to Creditors or 30 days after service of Notice to Creditors; all claims are barred after two years from Decedent’s death.
  • Personal Representative’s proof of claim: The later of three months after the first publication of Notice to Creditors or 30 days after service of Notice to Creditors; all claims are barred after two years from Decedent’s death.
  • To object to a claim: The later of 30 days from the filing of the timely claim or four months after publication of Notice to Creditors.
  • To file an independent action on a claim: 30 days after service of an objection.
  • To file proof of publication: Within 45 days of the first publication of Notice to Creditors.
  • Statement regarding creditors: Within four months after the first publication of Notice to Creditors.

General Palm Beach County Probate Deadlines

  • Filing original will: 10 days from the knowledge of death.
  • To object to the will, personal representative, or jurisdiction: 20 days from service of Formal Notice; or three months after service of Notice of Administration.
  • Filing evidence of death: 
    • Formal or Ancillary: Not later than 3 months following the date of first publication of Notice to Creditors; 
    • Summary: any time prior to entry of the order of summary administration.
  • Objection to Final/Interim Accounting and Petition for Discharge: 30 days after service of the Final/Interim Accounting and Petition for Discharge.

Probate Deadlines for Personal Representatives in Palm Beach County

  • Filing Inventory: 60 days after issuance of Letters of Administration.
  • Filing Inventory of Safe Deposit Box: 10 days after opening the box.
  • Affidavit of No FL Estate Tax Due (DR-312): Before the petition for discharge is filed.
  • Final Accounting: Within 12 months from the issuance of letters of administration.
  • Petition for Discharge: Within 12 months from the issuance of letters of administration.
  • Notice of Hearing on Objection to Final Accounting or Petition for Discharge: Notice of Hearing on objection must be served within 90 days of objection or the objection(s) are abandoned.

A Florida and Palm Beach County Probate Attorney at Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun Will Help You Understand and Meet All Probate Deadlines

A lengthy probate process is not necessary if you plan ahead and make estate planning a priority. A Florida and Palm Beach County probate attorney at Comiter, Singer, Baseman & Braun can work with you to either avoid probate or see you through the probate process. Contact us today for your initial consultation.

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